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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

I happened to watch a Buck Rogers episode over the weekend (I love nostalgia) and was once again slammed to the floor speechless at how pretty Erin Gray was.

erin gray

For those of you who don’t know, Erin Gray played Col. Wilma Deering in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century TV show.  Just listening to the title sequence fires off my nostalgic receptors.  And I always loved how elegantly beautiful Erin Gray was.

I was so moved I had to tweet about it


And I got a few good responses from twitter and facebook, which surprised me at first given that this was after midnight.  Then I realized it was after midnight after the 4th of July, and it made more sense.



There were two mentions of Princess Ardala, and I couldn’t quite remember who exactly that was, but I had a suspicion that they were talking about the other really attractive lady in the episode I was watching (Flight of the War Witch, 1 of 2).


Eh.  She’s ok, but she’s overdone.  And as a character?  How can you fall for someone you can’t trust?  Col Wilma Deering would have your back no matter what, no matter what color spandex she had to wear.  Princess Ardala would trade your soul for a new sequin, no matter what color she had to put up with.

It’s time to set this to rest.

So. Which one?

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An email thread between me and Poppy gave me the inspiration for this post.

If you were asked what your all-time favorite kid’s book was when you were young, which one book pops into your head?

For me, it’s this one:

grover monster at end of this book

Oh. My. Gosh.

I *totally* and completely loved this book.  It matched my sense of humor even before I knew what a sense of humor was.  I “got” this book.  This book “got” me.  We were very close friends as I grew up and I love sharing it with my kids.  Even the use of font size was brilliant.

The other books that are close runners up are

are you my mother  be nice to spiders children's book  frog and toad children's book

What one children’s book do you remember as being your absolute favorite?

6:14 am
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Today Rude Cactus got added to my feedreader.  I’ve been doing stuff like that a lot more recently – adding all sorts of interesting people to my lists – simply because it’s so incredibly easy to do so now that I’ve got NewsGator working on all fronts: PC, web, phone.  I used to do it manually, but now I just right-click here, toolbar-click there, whatever… I can feed the need to read with speed.

About the only thing I know about this Cactus character is that he has a really cool logo on his blog:

rude cactus logo

Oh, and the thingy-thing says he’s an IT Security geek, which is a big plus, as is the network administrator work, but the flaming uber-liberal thing’s got to go.  The name “cactus” reminds me of the awesome local Capitol Area Central Texas Unix Society, of which I was a member in the late 80’s and early 90’s, getting my first real unix account, email, and usenet access.  So while he probably has nothing to do with that CACTUS, I believe that coincidences shape our lives, so I’ll run with it.  Besides, he’s got like a kagillion commenters so he must have something to offer.

The first (and only, so far) post I’ve read was “That’s the Ticket,” an amusing story about when Mr. Cactus didn’t get a ticket and when he did, and the ironic nature of the two events.

All of a sudden, my memory kicked into action and I remembered a ticket-getting event in my own life, and put it in the comments of that post.  Because I thought it was interesting (and it makes for an easy Saturday post), here it is for your pleasure*:

In ’89 I went to defensive driving for a speeding ticket. At the beginning of the class, the instructor asked facetiously “and is there anyone who is completely innocent of their speeding ticket?” hahahah. I raised my hand and explained the following.I had just finished Basic Training at Ft. Sill, OK. Two recruit friends and I down to Austin (hometown) for Thanksgiving dinner/weekend with family. Driving back, I was in back of the van relaxing cuz I had already driven a long time and one of the other privates was driving and all of a sudden yelled out “CRAP! I think I got NAILED!” Somehow he was able to convey the following information in about 1.5 seconds:“Wayne, it’s like this. I still have to go back and report in. You’re already Permanent Party, and you have status, but we still have more training to complete.  We have formation at 1800 hours. If we so much have a SPECK on our record, it’s immediate discharge. We can’t have any trouble with the law in any way – not even a speeding ticket. All I have in this world is my enlistment and my marriage, and I really need the G.I. Bill because my wife will be bearing my child in 3 months and I can’t face her if I got kicked out of the military. Help me obi-wayne; you’re my only hope.”

So I did the only thing I could do. Luckily, we had just went over a small hill as we were slowing down; the police car behind us was invisible for a few seconds, and he jumped out of the driver’s seat and I jumped in to take his place. I slowed, stopped, and took it like a man.

I took his ticket.

Crap, I think I got nailed.

* I don’t mind you laughing at me.

Oh man.

Man, oh Man.

This weekend my brother-in-law and I took our kids to see School House Rock in concert at the Magik Theatre in San Antonio.

School House Rock

If you’re like me, you lived on this stuff.  ABC would show these little cartoons on Saturday mornings and would just, well, increase your brain in a fun way.  I can tell you the only way I can recite the Preamble to the Constitution is because of the song.

I own the 30th Anniversary 2-DVD set that has ALL 46 songs (can you believe there were 46??!?!?  I could probably name 12 or 13 off the top of my head, but after that, I guess some of them just weren’t that good or popular).  If you have kids (or even if you don’t but just remember watching it), I recommend you get the 2-DVD set.  You can also buy the 4 individual sets of America Rock, Grammar Rock, Multiplication Rock and Science Rock, but the full set is so much better.

They’re going to keep performing for the next 2 weeks on Fridays and Saturdays.  Go to their site for reservations. 

So here’s the set up – 4 musicians came up and got set up on the right (Guitar, Keyboard, Bass, Drums played by Sean Sankey, Sharon Herning, Dan Holguin and Mark Gonzales respectively).  Then the “Director,” a self-proclaimed teacher of a 4th grade class, introduced his “class,” which was made up of five “students.”  The students were James Bradley, Dylan Collins, Becky King, Ariel Rosen and Mollie Wicall, dressed up as students, and then proceeded to start on the show. 

And what a show it was.

First off, each of the performers (including guitarist Sean Sankey) were AMAZING singers.  Not only were they good as solo artists, but their harmonies were spot-on and sent chills down my spine.  Seriously.  In particular, the singers who honored I’m Just a Bill and Figure Eight did an uncanny job at sounding like the original artists.  The girl who sang Figure Eight also did the extremely cool “vocal add-ons” during the Noun song (like animals and plants or a train).  The props were minimal but effective.  Seeing this show wants me to rejuvenate my attendance record for local presentations.  Even the smell of the theatre itself, which was a little damp, musky, and cool from the humidity, brought back memories of seeing shows like this in early childhood.

My gratitude knows no bounds for these performers and the people who put the show on.  I know Jaden loved it (he said as much many times), but what it did for me and my nostalgia I cannot convey adequately.   THANK YOU, Magik Theatre.  THANK YOU, performers.  THANK YOU, Bob Dorough, George R. Newall, Jack Sheldon, Lynn Ahrens, Tom Yohe and everyone involved with making the series.

I even got my program signed by the performers.  Click for the full version.

Schoolhouse Rock Magik Theater Flyer Signatures

I don’t remember the order, but here’s my list of what I recall was performed live.  Click the link to go to a page that will play the song for you.  I’ve also put a poll down in the extended entry to vote on YOUR favorites.

I would have been ok if they dropped off Sufferin’ Till Sufferage, Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla, Do The Circulation and Interplanet Janet and added in Electricity, Electricity,  My Hero, Zero, No More Kings and Telegraph Line or even stuff from Money Rock (This for That or The Check’s In The Mail).  They didn’t do anything from Money Rock, which surprised me only a little.

My Dell DJ has all of them loaded and I play them regularly.  I’m still addicted to the tunes!  I would very much like to see a resurgence in this kind of knowledge transfer – a lot of what I know about the Old and New Testament comes from the memorable melodies and lyrics from the Statler Brothers – I can still name all twelve disciples because of one of their songs 🙂

I’ve put a poll for you to vote on your favorite School House Rock songs in the extended entry below.


I have experienced tremendous ups and downs with this little episode (no pun intended).

For the past 30 years, I’ve had wonderful recurring dreams that had something to do with two actors I like (Ike Eisenmann and Roddy McDowall) in some fantastic journey type of situation.  I seemed to recall something about an island, and some tuning-fork-shaped magic tool, and spacey special effects.  For the longest time I thought I was crazy, though I knew Ike Eisenmann very well from watching Escape To/ Return From Witch Mountain movies a million times on Disney, and knew Roddy McDowell from many things, like one of my favorite moves of all time Cat From Outer Space, and of course the Planet of the Apes series.  I just figured I melded them somehow into my dreams.

Then I actually do some IMDB looking and it turns out – there WAS a short-lived series related to this whole mess o’ memories!  I’m in heaven again!  There was this show called “The Fantastic Journey“.  This show was on for about 4 months in 1977 and was cancelled or some such.  All I know is that I’m positive I saw an episode or two back then, when I was 6 years old. 

I read the summary about the show and am increasingly elated…

A scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean headed by Dr. Paul Jordan becomes lost in the Bermuda Triangle and washes up on an uncharted island.   In the pilot episode they meet Varian, a man from the 23rd century who tells them about a place to the East called Evailand where they can find a doorway back to their own time.

Most of the group either dead of made it home leaving Varian, Fred Walters and Paul’s 13 yr old son Scott to make their way east.  Along the way they meet up with travelers from other times, planets and dimensions who have also become trapped.  Liana, a woman with an alient mother and an Atlantium fater with her cat Sil-l, is the first to join them.  Then Jonathan Willoway, a scientist from the 60’s is invited to join.  Together they travel through portals from one dimension to the next hoping to find the one that leads home.

And IMDB lists this narration from the opening sequence.

Lost in the Devil’s Triangle, trapped in a dimension with beings from the future and other worlds, a party of adventurers journey through zones of time back to their own time. Varian, a man from the 23rd century, possessing awesome powers; from 1977; Fred, a young doctor just out of medical school; Scott Jordan, the thirteen-year-old son of a famous scientist; Liana, daughter of an Atlantean father and an extraterrestrial mother; and Jonathan Willaway, a rebel scientist from the 1960s. Together they face the frightening unknown on… The Fantastic Journey.

I’m all aquiver with excitement as I actually find a place to order the DVD set.  A month or so goes by, and nothing.  I contact the distributor and he said he’s sorry, he sent it late.  Now I’m worried that maybe I’ve been “had,” but a day later, the DVD set shows up.  (note: I have since learned that this series has not been released on DVD, so I’ll assume I’m dealing with a fake/bootleg.  I did a little more research and there is a petition to get it released on DVD, so help a bruthah out and vote! I was vote #301.)

DVD Cover of The Fantastic Journey

On the cover are some pictures that make it even more real – I recognize some of this!  Some of the faces, costumes, settings, and even the names (ie, Scott Jordan) are firing off long-forgotten neurons in the back of my brain.  I’m starting to get more excited, knowing that I can just pop this thing in and relive some of the emotions, awe, wonder, and fill in the blanks that my dreams haven’t been able to. 

Then I find some pictures – the cloud on the horizon and the glowing “tuning fork” magic thingy – this is bringing back some real vivid dreams!

The Horizon Cloud from The Fantastic Journey   The magic tuning fork thingy from Fantastic Journey

I pop it in and it starts.  The audio is choppy, almost stuttering, like a badly encoded mp3 file.  The video is “ok” – I mean, it is 70’s TV and it’s old so I’m not expecting Pixar-type HD or anything.  But then the audio gets worse and worse. I get 11 minutes into it and it’s completely un-watchable.  It was just getting good, too – their ship was about to go into this inexplicably greenish and menacing storm cloud that suddenly appeared on the horizon while they were in the Burmuda Triangle.  They heard all these ship’s bells, clangs, getting louder and louder, and then the whole DVD just panics and tries to keep up, skipping the audio and video, pausing, jumping,


This is so cruel!

So I try skipping a few chapters, same thing.  The 2nd DVD, same thing.  The 3rd DVD, same thing.


I’m so depressed now.  My dreams, my hopes for completing the installment placed so firmly in my mind – put on hold.

But I did find the opening sequence on youtube:

At least I’m getting some confirmation of these thoughts and memories.  Now I have to contact this “distributor” and demand that these DVD’s be fixed/replaced.  Now that I know this stuff is there, I HAVE TO WATCH IT!

And don’t forget:

Sign the petition to release Fantastic Journey on DVD


tsk tsk

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